Arts Council partners with Augusta University for Neighborhood Surveys on Public Art
As the Greater Augusta Arts Council nears completion of its Public Art Master Plan, commissioned in 2016 to be written by Convention, Sports, and Leisure, Intl, we are preparing to begin on the very first step. This “first step” will be a neighborhood survey project to learn about what Augusta citizens want for future public art features in their neighborhoods and communities.
The Arts Council is partnering with Augusta University’s Masters of Public Administration program in order to accomplish this important task. Students of the program are working on the design of the survey project as part of their Spring semester courses, instructed by Will Hatcher, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the master of public administration program at Augusta University. The surveys are expected to commence in the summer of 2017. The Arts Council and city leaders will gain valuable information about the communities of Augusta through these surveys. We will learn about how they see themselves as a community, the themes that would be fitting in their areas, and other insight into the public art features they want to see in their neighborhoods.
The Importance of Engaging the Public
There are many reasons to conduct the surveys. From “Engaging the Public in Art-Based Development,” a recent column by Hatcher in PA Times: “Since the arts are so vital to communities, it is important for local officials to design public participation mechanisms which help solicit effective public input which is both meaningful and representative.” The neighborhood surveys designed by Hatcher and his students will be this mechanism for public participation in all future public art projects.
The surveys are vital to lasting community support for public art. “It’s important to engage the community before making any decisions about public art.” Said Brenda Durant, Executive Director of the Greater Augusta Arts Council. “Getting feedback from citizens is important because it gives them a voice in the decision making process. We want them to feel invested in the work and proud of the public art pieces going up in their neighborhoods.”
See current public art features of Augusta and learn about the Arts Council’s role in Public Art in Augusta, Georgia
Read the Full Article, “Engaging the Public in Art-Based Development” by William Hatcher, Ph.D.
Learn More about the Augusta University Masters of Public Administration Program